During the monthly support group meeting, members of the breast cancer survivor support group of Care Organization Public Enlightenment (COPE) have appealed to
the Federal Government to go back to the drawing board and make the nation’s health policy more robust with a view to improving cancer treatment.
They called for establishment of a compulsory comprehensive cancer centre in each of the 36 States. The CEO of COPE, Mrs. Ebunola Anozie has lamented that most Nigerian cancer patients now troop to Ghana. “It is a shame that many Nigerian cancer patients are now going as far as Ghana to have their treatment done. Most of the machines here are down. Right now it is only two working which is not good enough. “We lost five people last year including a 28-year old that could not continue her treatment due to financial inability. We tried to raise funds for her but the money came too late. You can imagine how bad cancer is. It is a big deal but I can tell you it is not a death sentence if the needful is done. But the death of one of them who was placed on heceptin that cost over N700, 000 now, was a shock to us. She did the needful.” Lamenting the recession, she appealed to good spirited Nigerians to adopt a patient, adding that COPE is a transparent organization that has been in existence for 22 years supporting indigent cancer patients. “We are appealing to good Nigerians by sponsoring a patient. It could be as small as N10, 000 a month. The recession is really affecting sponsorships. Cancer is not something you wish the enemy. A survivor does not need treatment for life but sometimes treatments may last five years or more. “This year, we will be concentrating more on lifestyles such as diet and exercise, hydrotherapy and psychological aspect as part of our awareness package.
On her part, a London – based Nigerian cancer survivor, Mrs. Diela Ogunleye who donated mastectomy bras and other prosthesis, expressed joy that cancer treatment outcome is progressing in Nigeria. “To soften the blow for Nigerian breast cancer survivors, I started buying bras and prosthesis. This time we brought about 46 mastectomy bras. These are things you get along with treatment in London. There is need to raise awareness about organizations like COPE because Support groups helps one another to get well. That is what inspired me to keep coming to Nigeria annually.
A member of COPE’s Board of Trustees, Mrs. Bola Fejemirokun has encouraged survivors to show love. “Share your experiences with others so that what happens here will touch the lives of other women.”